Dysprosium was the 66th annual UK SciFi Convention, held at Easter 2015.
(Yes, I’m still playing “catch-up”.)
Weird and wacky, thoughtful and intelligent, and a Real Ale bar permanently packed-out with hobbits. Well, not real hobbits, but hairy folk wearing homespun and sandals. (For my non-UK readers, Real Ales are traditional beers produced by smaller breweries with love and care and no artificial additives.) The Bar seems to be a popular recurring feature of these conventions.
This was my first “big” scifi convention. I’d attended Luxcon a week earlier (see post): the difference was remarkable. Most Luxembourg attendees lived locally and needed no hotel accommodation. UK attendees were from a wider catchment area so most needed hotel rooms. As a result, the age profiles were radically different. LuxCon folk were predominantly young adults, with a greater cosplay tendency: the UK folk were generally older, more likely to have spreading waistlines, receding hairlines and greater disposable income (to afford the travel and hotels).
I’d say there was more pop-scifi in Luxembourg, and more fantasy in the UK.
Workshops and Beyond
I submitted different pieces of writing to three writing workshops. Due to the number of attendees, time constraints prevented full analysis of the submissions, but each presenter team provided follow-up:-
- Elsewhen Press – critique session
- submitted : a short story, “Homo sapiens inferior“
- follow-up : Elsewhen invited attendees to submit a story after the convention for a full critique
- Terry Edge and Kim Horwood – improving writing and achieving goals
- submitted : the first chapter of my far future novel-in-progress, “Succession!“
- follow-up : Terry and Kim sat with me between other sessions for valuable informal chats
- Donna Scott (editor and chair of the British Science Fiction Association) – critique session
- submitted : the first page of my noir novel-in-progress, “Private Vices“
- follow-up : Donna edited the entire submission after the convention and sent me her comments
Thank you to them all.
Between the Real Ale and the wonderful attendees I met, the excellent session presenters and the great folk running the workshops, I had a great time and learned so much. Already looking forward to next Easter’s Convention, “Mancunicon” (in Manchester, UK).
Afternote : Only a few people ignored the “No Bare Feet” notices. I do hope they enjoyed their pedal fungal infection transfers.